Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Adventures Around Town

The part of Connecticut where we live is rural compared to places I've lived in in the past. Since I grew up in the suburbs, and then moved to the town of Santa Barbara, it is strange to have to drive everywhere, and to see more trees than stores. However, right across from Aaron’s campus, a center has recently been built that contains restaurants, a bookstore, and even a little candy shop. Aaron’s Nana visited this weekend, and we explored a little more of the center, and I couldn’t resist blogging about it.

We went out for lunch at the Dog Lane Café and really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food. It’s a restaurant that mixes coffee shop with evening bistro, and while I miss shops that are solely dedicated to coffee (there aren't many around here that I have found yet), I think Dog Lane Café has managed to capture the coffee shop atmosphere that I really miss from California. Their slogan invites you to sit and stay a while, so I don’t feel awkward bringing in a book or journal and hanging out for a few hours. I actually visited the café for coffee a few times back in the fall, before snow kept me mostly housebound, but it was fun to eat at the café, and we all enjoyed our meals. I had a Chipotle Fried Cheddar Artisan Grilled Cheese, which had just a tiny kick, but was filled with lots of pickles. Plus, Aaron and Nana didn't want their pickles, so I got to have three pickles, which is almost as good as giving me chocolate (but that happens later!).

Aaron and I took Nan to see the bookstore, and found that a puppet museum had opened up next door. Aaron preferred the company of tomes, but Nan and I wandered around the museum, marveling at a whole other culture we didn't even know existed. I’m not going to quit my day job and become a puppeteer, but it was interesting to see the color and detail that went into the puppets. We rejoined Aaron in the bookstore, and found the next book in a series that Aaron and Nana and  have been reading, and they were very excited! I love this bookstore.

Lastly, we made a visit to the candy store! Aaron and I had walked by it many times, but were always on our way to dinner and only paused momentarily to drool. The store is small, but is packed with candy. We bought some fudge and truffles, and Nana and I each picked out different kinds, so the helpful college student put them into separate bags for us. I picked out two dark chocolate truffles, one mint truffle, and some chocolate peanut butter fudge. The student gave each of us our bags and we left the store feeling rather thrilled with our chocolate. 

About halfway through our drive home, as visions of dark chocolate were wafting gleefully through my imagination, Nan said, “Let’s check the bags, just to be sure.” So I opened up my lime green paper bag, and to my horror, saw a chocolate caramel turtle. Nan opened up her bag to find dark chocolate truffles. We had been given the wrong bag, and we almost hadn't checked them! Now, while all chocolate is delicious, I prefer dark chocolate, and I don’t like caramel. The mix-up would have been a travesty had we not realized the clerk’s mistake.

Our outing ended with greeting little Hobbes. I might have to devote a blog post to her sometime soon! She’s getting very big, and very rambunctious now that she can jump up to more surfaces (although not yet the kitchen counter or the stove, which are my big worries). She’s just as adorable as ever, and brightens the Hobbit Hole with her presence.

Thanks for sharing our adventure with us! Is there a little corner of your town that you love to visit?

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